Arkansas Crime

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics says a large cocaine ring that moved the drug through Dallas and Little Rock, Arkansas, before bringing it to Muskogee for distribution has been broken.

OBN spokesman Mark Woodward said agents and officers from several departments began serving arrest and search warrants Friday morning and have arrested 21 of 24 suspects in the Muskogee area on charges including distribution and trafficking cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana.

Martha Shoffner
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Federal prosecutors are being given more time to respond to a filing by the attorney for convicted ex-Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner.

U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes on Thursday gave prosecutors until May 18 to respond to the filing in which attorney Chuck Banks objects to a report suggesting Shoffner spend at least 15 years in prison for bribery and extortion convictions. Banks says a more appropriate sentence would be about 12 to 18 months, with half served in home detention.

The response was due Friday, but U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer said more time is needed.

A former Paragould gynecologist has been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to video voyeurism involving female patients at his clinic.

Prosecutors say 69-year-old Paul Becton was sentenced after pleading guilty Wednesday in Greene County Circuit Court to four charges as part of a plea deal in which four other charges were dismissed. District Attorney Scott Ellington said the victims approved the deal in order to avoid testifying.

Timothy Lamont Howard
Arkansas Times

Witnesses have testified in the capital murder trial of a man charged in the 1997 deaths of an Ashdown couple that the deceased were methamphetamine users.

Timothy Lamont Howard is on trial for the second time in the deaths of Brian and Shannon Day and for attempted murder of the couple's 7-month-old son. Prosecutors have said Timothy Lamont Howard killed Shannon Day because she thought she was pregnant with Howard's child and that he killed Brian Day for money.

His convictions were overturned in 2013 because of new evidence the defense didn't have in his first trial.

Arkansas State Police Emblem

Arkansas State Police say troopers and civilian investigators with its Crimes Against Children Division have rescued a 15-year-old girl trapped in a human trafficking operation.

The agency said Monday the girl was picked up Wednesday at a south Little Rock motel. Two children, ages 2 and 3, were also found in the motel room.

Investigators also arrested a North Little Rock woman in connection with the case, but state police did not list the charges against her.

Martha Shoffner
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

An attorney for former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner is objecting to a presentencing report that suggests she spend at least 15 years in prison for bribery and extortion convictions.

Attorney Chuck Banks filed an objection Friday to the report in U.S. District Court. Banks says a more appropriate sentence would be about 12 to 18 months, with half served in home detention.

Shoffner was convicted last year on 14 bribery and extortion charges. Prosecutors say she illegally steered state business to a bond broker who gave her cash.

Police in Little Rock say a suspect in one of the two fatal shootings in the city this week has surrendered. Police say 22-year-old Kevious Montrell Foster gave him self up Friday morning.

Foster was wanted for first-degree murder in the Wednesday afternoon shooting of 25-year-ld Ladarrious Galbruth in east Little Rock. Galbruth was found dead in the driver's seat of a vehicle that crashed into a parked vehicle.

The mayor of an Arkansas city where the only police dog was fatally shot by a resident says charges have been dropped against the shooter.

Bay Mayor Daniel Kirby says the city decided to drop all charges against 26-year-old Zachary Worley because the dog, Vox, escaped from his cage. Worley initially was arrested on suspicion of felony aggravated cruelty to an animal, but the charge later was reduced to misdemeanor discharge of a firearm within city limits.

The Jonesboro Sun reports Worley shot the dog in his backyard because it was attacking one of his pet rabbits.

Jermain Taylor
Pulaski Co. Sheriff's Office

A boxer accused of shooting his cousin and threatening a child with a gun has been granted permission to leave his treatment program to attend church.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports a Pulaski County judge ruled Monday that Jermain Taylor could go to weekly church services, as long as he's accompanied by an employee of the recovery center where Taylor is in a substance-abuse program. The boxer also must sit alone at church.

James Clay
Delaware State Police

The attorney for a Delaware man accused in a 1967 Arkansas killing says his client is being held illegally as he fights extradition.

In court papers filed this week, the public defender for James Leon Clay of Georgetown says Clay was arrested on March 10 and has been incarcerated beyond the permitted 30 days, with no extension sought by or granted to state authorities.